Alabama councilman rejects requests to resign after using n-word in council meeting

An Alabama city councilmember has rejected requests to resign after he used the n-word earlier this week at a city council meeting.

The Alabama Democratic Party asked Tarrant city councilmember Tommy Bryant to resign after video of Monday’s meeting began circulating. Bryant told CNN affiliate WVTM he’s not going to step down.

CNN has reached out to Bryant, who is White, for comment.

The council meeting was streamed live on the city’s Facebook page Monday evening. Bryant is seen in the video standing up while discussing a variety of issues with Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton, who is Black.

While speaking to councilmember Veronica Freeman, Bryant asked, “Do we have a house n***er in here? Do we? Do we? Would she please stand up?” This resulted in Freeman weeping and leaving the meeting and later coming back.

Bryant said he was repeating something Newton said about Freeman during executive session.

“He said it in a derogatory manner, I said it so people would know what the mayor said,” Bryant later told WVTM.

“The mayor was being derogatory toward Veronica Freeman when he said that.”

CNN has reached out to Newton for comment. The mayor has denied using the n-word and told, “They are trying to expose me for saying something I did not say. All of that was a political stunt that they did not do very well.”

He added that if he had used the phrase during a meeting with councilmembers, a recording would exist because their meetings had been recorded, so told reporters to “ask them to produce the video.”

Freeman was not available for comment. Attorney Bryan P. Winter, who represents Freeman, released a statement saying, “The statements made at the City of Tarrant constitute unconscionable racial discrimination and harassment. Such statements are deeply hurtful and absolutely unacceptable in our society.”

Wade F. Perry, the executive director of the Alabama Democrats, issued a statement Tuesday, saying Bryant is “racist” and “unfit to serve.”

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